Bill Cunningham’s Big Gay Heart

New York Magazine
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February 15, 2013
Issues: 

Bill Cunningham, the 83-year-old originator of street-style photography, has probably never celebrated Valentine’s Day like the rest of us. In the 2010 documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, he comes across as the fashion world’s equivalent of a monk, religiously devoted to his craft. And when Richard Press, the director, asks if he’s ever had a romantic relationship, Bill demurs: “Do you want to know if I’m gay?” he answers. “Isn't that a riot ... no, I haven’t … it never occurred to me.” Regardless of his sexuality or relationship history, though, Bill definitely knows what love means. Especially between gay men. In fact, he’s been a quiet pioneer when it comes to making sure their lives and loves have been covered in the Times, even long before the paper would print the word “gay.”